8 Essential Sustainable Fashion Books

The fashion industry is a nightmare for the planet, it creates more pollution than all but one other industry.

It doesn’t have to be like that.

These sustainable fashion books help to illustrate how we can all live in better harmony with the planet and still look amazing.

The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade by Pietra Rivoli

We’d never have believed that you could tell the life story of a single t-shirt and it would make for thrilling reading but that’s exactly what this book is.

It begins in a Texas Cotton Field where the cotton is being harvested, travels to China for production and then arrives in Africa for sale. 

What you learn on the way, will change the way you shop for fashion, forever. 

Grab a copy online here.

best sustainable fashion books

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L Cline

One morning Elizabeth Cline looked in her wardrobe and found seven identical pairs of shoes and she realized she had to change her life. 

This is her story and your guide on breaking the buy and throw away culture of fashion that so many of us are trapped inside.

It ought to be essential reading for everyone. 

Grab a copy online here.

(Or check out our full review of Overdressed here.)



To Die for: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? By Lucy Siegle

Lucy pulls no punches as she explores how fashion is destroying the world and how sustainable fashion might save it.

This is a book with an agenda, it wants to drive change before it’s too late for all of us. 

Grab a copy online here.

to die for fashion eco

The Sustainable Fashion Handbook by Sandy Black

OK, this is a fairly heavy book and it’s not for the casual reader but if you really want to understand the ins and outs of slow fashion – it’s one of the best texts there is.

This was recommended by one of our favorite sustainable fashion bloggers and while we found it a bit of a slog at times, we’re glad that we persevered with it. 

Grab a copy online here.

sustainable fashion handbook

Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change by Kate Fletcher

If you’re looking to become part of the fashion industry as a designer and want to ensure you operate sustainably, this is for you.

Kate Fletcher knows what it takes to transform the industry from the inside out to break with the old and make a beautiful new future together. 

Grab a copy online here.

fashion and sustainability

Wardrobe Crisis: How We Went from Sunday Best to Fast Fashion by Clare Press

There was a time, not so long ago, that everyone could answer this simple question. “Who makes your clothes?” 

Today, obviously, this is not so and Clare Press got to wondering why and if we couldn’t somehow get to the point where we all could answer this question and know that those people were working in kind, ethical conditions? 

This light and easy read propels you through the world of fashion and its history to find the solution to today’s problems in fashion’s past. 

Grab a copy online here.

wardrobe crisis

Slow Fashion: Aesthetics Meets Ethics by Safia Minney

Safia Minney is one of Slow Fashion’s top gurus and while some of her work is very much focused on the problems of the fashion world – this one is all about solutions.

It’s full of bright designs, awesome photography and a strong moral center that shows how fair trade, local shopping, organic production and vintage and classic principles can come together to make a better world. 

Grab a copy online here.

slow fashion

Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion by Kate Fletcher and Mathilda Tham

This is, quite literally, a textbook but it’s the ultimate source of hard facts about the fashion industry and the damage that it does. 

If you want to be truly informed, you need a copy of this book, but don’t expect to read it in one sitting. 

Grab a copy online here.

sustainable fashion book

Final Thoughts On Essential Sustainable Fashion Books

This is a fairly hefty reading list and we wouldn’t suggest buying it all at once, but everyone ought to read at least one book from this list during their lifetime if they want to be more sustainable in their fashion choices.

Why not pick up a copy from your local library or buy one on Amazon today? 

Look for some more sustainable fashion ideas? Check out these awesome new sustainable fashion trends?

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